Home » Costa Rica » Costa Rica – Vehicle Maintenance, Repairs, and Breakdown Recovery

Costa Rica – Vehicle Maintenance, Repairs, and Breakdown Recovery

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes and a friendly population. If you are planning to move to Costa Rica or you are already living there, you might be considering buying a vehicle. Whether you decide to purchase a car locally or import it from another country, there are important things you need to know about the rules and regulations regarding vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair, and the major accident breakdown companies and motoring organizations in Costa Rica.

Rules Regarding Regular Vehicle Inspection

In Costa Rica, all vehicles must pass a regular inspection, called the Riteve, in order to obtain a circulation permit. The inspection is mandatory and must be carried out every year for vehicles that are more than 5 years old and every two years for newer vehicles. The Riteve checks the vehicle’s brakes, suspension, lights, emissions, and other important components to ensure that they meet the minimum safety and environmental standards.

If a vehicle fails the inspection, the owner has 30 days to repair the issues and bring the vehicle back for a retest. If the vehicle still fails after the 30-day period, the owner can face fines or even have their vehicle impounded. The cost of the Riteve varies depending on the type of vehicle, but it usually ranges from $30 to $60.

The Riteve is similar to the British MOT (Ministry of Transport) test in that it aims to ensure that vehicles are safe and roadworthy. However, the Riteve is carried out by a private company, and the standards may not be as strict as those of the MOT. It is therefore important to ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained and in good condition before taking it for the Riteve.

General Standard of Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

The general standard of vehicle maintenance and repair in Costa Rica varies widely, depending on the age and condition of the vehicle and the skills and experience of the mechanic. There are many reputable mechanics and garages in Costa Rica that can provide high-quality maintenance and repair services at reasonable prices.

However, there are also many unscrupulous mechanics who will cut corners or use cheap, substandard parts to save money. It is important to do your research and choose a reliable mechanic or garage with a good reputation. You can ask for recommendations from friends, colleagues, or other expats, or check online reviews and ratings.


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


If you are importing a vehicle to Costa Rica, you should ensure that it is in good condition and has been well-maintained before shipping it. It is also a good idea to have it inspected by a reputable mechanic or garage in Costa Rica before registering it and taking it for the Riteve.

Major Accident Breakdown Companies and Motoring Organizations

In Costa Rica, there are several major accident breakdown companies and motoring organizations that provide emergency roadside assistance, towing, and other services to motorists. These include:

1. Association of Costa Rican Insurers (Asociación de Aseguradoras de Costa Rica)

The Association of Costa Rican Insurers is a non-profit organization that represents the insurance industry in Costa Rica. It provides information and advice on insurance products and services, as well as on road safety and accident prevention. The association also has a network of service providers that offer roadside assistance and other services to policyholders.

Website: www.acar.cr

2. National Emergency Commission (Comisión Nacional de Emergencias)

The National Emergency Commission is a government agency that coordinates emergency response and disaster management in Costa Rica. It provides emergency services and assistance to motorists who are involved in accidents or other emergencies on the road.

Website: www.cne.go.cr

3. Road Assistance (Asistencia Vial)

Road Assistance is a private company that provides emergency roadside assistance and towing services to motorists in Costa Rica. It has a network of service providers across the country and offers different levels of coverage, including basic and premium plans.

Website: www.asistenciavialcr.com

4. Automobile Club of Costa Rica (Automóvil Club de Costa Rica)

The Automobile Club of Costa Rica is a non-profit organization that provides a range of services to motorists, including roadside assistance, travel planning, and vehicle inspections. It also offers discounts and other benefits to members.

Website: www.acocr.com

5. Green Flag Costa Rica (Bandera Verde)

Green Flag Costa Rica is a roadside assistance and breakdown company that provides services to English-speaking expats and tourists in Costa Rica. It offers a range of services, including towing, tire changes, and jump-starts.

Website: www.greenflagcostarica.com

If you are planning to drive in Costa Rica, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these organizations and their services. You can also consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan or insurance policy that includes emergency roadside assistance to ensure that you are covered in case of an accident or breakdown.

Buying or Importing a Vehicle in Costa Rica requires careful consideration of the rules and regulations regarding vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair, and roadside assistance. It is important to ensure that your vehicle is well-maintained and in good condition, and that you choose a reliable mechanic or garage for maintenance and repairs. You should also familiarize yourself with the major accident breakdown companies and motoring organizations in Costa Rica and consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan or insurance policy to ensure that you are covered in case of an emergency. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy safe and worry-free driving in Costa Rica.


Latest Videos

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feed settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.